A woman looks at high-definition 3D television screens at a Panasonic stand at the 2010 IFA technology and consumer electronics trade fair at Messe Berlin, Sept. 2, 2010. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

According to the findings of a new survey by TiVo-owned Digitalsmiths, if consumers could pick and pay for the channels that they would watch on an a la carte basis, prospective consumers chose 18 other channels before picking ESPN.

The new study found that apart from big primetime television networks such as HBO, ABC, CBS or Showtime, several other channels such as National Geographic, the Food Network, History Channel and HGTV finished before ESPN, Fierce Cable reported. In fact, only the Weather Channel with 40.6 percent popularity was ranked below ESPN (41.3 percent).

With 65.8 percent support, ABC was the most popular choice, followed by CBS (63.5 percent). Discovery Channel was third (61.8 percent), NBC was fourth (61 percent) and History Channel was fifth (56 percent). The survey spoke to an unreleased number of TV viewers in both the U.S. and Canada for the fourth quarter, but eventually released data for the U.S. as channel availability between the countries is different.

Read: Trump Ratings: Did He Beat Obama's Television Viewership Figures?

“76.6 percent of respondents would like to pay for only the channels they watch—up 3 percent year-over-year. On average, respondents picked 18 channels to put in their perfect line-up and said they would pay $25.82 per month for the package,” according to the press release about the survey.

Although the price of the ESPN channel has been listed in the survey as $1.82, the Chicago Tribune reported that at its monthly fee is $7.21, it is the most expensive channel on cable. The news doesn’t bode well for ESPN, which has been losing subscribers, according to Business Insider, and is also planning "significant” layoffs of on-camera talent, according to Sports Illustrated.

However, it is also possible that consumer choices may be beyond the control of ESPN as ratings for sports are also declining. Both the NFL and NBA, along with related sports debate programs are facing a decline in their ratings and according to another related report, President Donald Trump distracting people with politics may be part of the reason.

The results of new Nielsen data also suggested that despite 100 million households paying for TV in the U.S., there is a growing number of people who are consuming television through devices other than set-top boxes.